Diary of an American Girl’s Journeys to the Forbidden Land (Excerpt 3)

U.S. 2005

eisenhower-and-batista

Cuban President Fulgencio Batista with American President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

August 31

Going over some history about Fulgencio Batista, Castro’s U.S. puppet predecessor.

I keep catching myself trying to justify our government’s endorsement, nee full support, of Batista – whose vicious human rights abuses far surpassed Castro’s.

 

I mean, we’re demonizing Castro for jailing political dissidents, but fully backed Batista for jailing, torturing and executing political dissidents – and their family members.

Somebody please explain this to me.

Cuz I don’t understand.

Our anti-Communist cry against Cuba doesn’t hold enough water to smother the leaping flames of our own embargo hypocrisy. I mean really, it’s only too obvious that there must be so much more behind the dogged vehemence with which we lash out specifically at Cuba’s Communism.

bush-shaking-hands-with-hu-jintao

U.S. President George W. Bush with China President Hu Jintao.

China is the largest Communist nation in the world with horrifying and current torture practices on citizens who defy government rules.

But there is no U.S. Constitution-defying travel ban to China, nor demonizing campaign against Hu Jintao. In fact, we’re conducting hearty trade with Communist China.

No embargo there.

kim_jong_il_and_madeleine_albright

North Korea President Kim Jong Il with U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright.

Neither do we embargo against Communist North Korea’s underground death chambers in which Kim Jong II inflicts documented torture and all manner of human rights abuses, daily, on citizens.

Nope, no embargo there either.

Strangely, our media seems to notice only Cubans in the Gulf rafting desperately toward democracy. And our government, as if to justify its own incongruous words and actions, goes to great lengths to make sure that any Gulf-dripping Cubans jailed or harmed by Castro are brought to our immediate, nation-wide attention.

I had to learn about tortured North Koreans through alternative media, because U.S. mainstream media is apparently reserved for tortured Cubans. Especially during an election year with anti-embargo protests to drown out, and wealthy, powerful Cuban-American votes to court.

God, I’m so pissed off right now!

This is really hitting me. I’m really getting it. Just now.

Why am I just getting this now? Where the hell have I been?

wmd-lie-on-hot-air-balloon

I hate being duped and mind-played by my own president.

What else is he doing that I don’t know about yet? I feel like I’m being cheated on but haven’t actually caught him in the act yet, so there’s a chance it’s not true…hoping hard it’s not true.

Add to North Korea’s Communist atrocities the fact that Kim Jong  has nuclear arms, and I am stumped – stumped – about the agenda of my government. I mean, what the hell can Castro really do to us? He’s nursing rusty guns in a deteriorated, malnourished country while trying to keep us at bay.

Kim Jong has nuclear arms.

And he doesn’t like us.

But it’s Cuba – not North Korea – that our government is concerned about. It’s Cuba that we’re “protecting” Americans from – by strangulation/embargo. It’s Cuba that is ignoble. Inhumane. Illegal…for free Americans to travel to. It’s Castro’s rusty guns that serve Bush’s pro-embargo innuendo of weapons of mass destruction and terrorist support.

North Korea has nuclear arms!

Do nuclear arms not count as weapons of mass destruction? 

How do I reconcile, for my own sense of patriotism, that my government is doing exactly the thing for which it is condemning Fidel Castro? My government is committing a human rights abuse. It has taken away a constitutional right.

Our president has overruled the constitution.

Holy f’kin’ democracy, Batman!

Can this happen again? Maybe with the next agenda of the next president? And the next? I mean, if this can happen once, why can’t it happen again? And what if each time, a different right is rescinded?

This loss of one measly constitutional right pertaining to one measly Latin American country may seem like a non-issue to someone who couldn’t care less if they ever travel there. But such an easy loss of such a standard constitutional right scares me.

Goliath started out as an embryo.

A democracy slowly losing constitutional rights is a Goliath in the womb, isn’t it?

impeach-bush

 

And in fear of being branded unpatriotic, no one is willing to perform the necessary abortion…

.

.

.

September 1

I realized last night that as pissed as I was to discover all that stuff about my government, I’m also pissed at me. Pissed, embarrassed, and feeling ignorant.

Where have I been all these years? Am I really a fat/happy American who lives to stuff my own comfort, tuning out anything that may stain my personal happiness? I refuse to believe this. I can’t be like that. I would never be like that.

I think I might be like that…

.

Later

Okay, still reeling here. I really want to understand things correctly. I don’t want to be ignorant about all this shit any more, you know? I really want to know what’s going on.

So…

1950's-cuba-casino

Circa 1950. Americans gambling in Havana casino.

 

1.  My government sanctioned a blood-thirsty Batista because he did our bidding, served up his country and people to our pleasure and profit, allowed us to move in and take over.

.

.

fidel-castro-giving-speech

Fidel Castro

 2.  My government now demonizes Castro for the very same blood-thirst because Castro has steadfastly refused to do our bidding, has refused to serve up his country and people for our pleasure and profit, has allowed Cuba to deteriorate rather than allow us to move in and take over the way Batista allowed us to do.

In fact, Castro kicked us the hell out.Then nationalized all our holdings. Because of Castro, we lost everything we had there.

Yeah, I’d be pissed if I was Uncle Sam. But I’d also see the hypocrisy.

Considering what I’m learning about U.S. foreign policy…could Castro’s aversion to the U.S. be the result of witnessing what his country had become with us at the helm?

I’m reading about how Cuba was during Castro’s youth, then how the U.S. moved in and took over, allowing Americans to use Cuba as our own personal playground. We bought up everything, then built casinos and brothels, and called it progress.

us-soldier-pees-on-statue-of-jose-marti

1949: U.S. Marine urinating on statue of Jose Martí.

We brazenly disrespected Cuban ideals, culture, and people. Our soldiers, fully sober, fully arrogant, in a public square in full uniform, urinated on a famous monument of Cuba’s revered and well-loved historic padre, Jose Marti.

I was embarrassed and disgusted just reading about it.

I tried to imagine any of our presidents allowing Cubans to come to the U.S. and publicly pee on the George Washington monument.

Do as we say, not as we do.

 

No wonder Castro won’t bend to our will.

Our will sucks for them.

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September 17

I don’t want to think about this embargo anymore.

It makes me feel things I don’t want to feel.

So, I’m just going to go to Cuba and have a good time. After all, the island has such a romantic history with sexy, bearded Latin heroes who committed their lives to fighting against their puppet-president/dictator Batista. And the bearded cuties won, riding victoriously through millions of grateful, weeping, worshiping fellow countrymen filling the streets of Havana.

Sigh.

So storybook.

Plus, I hear Cuba has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And I am beyond excited to hear the Cuban music I love so much, performed live in-country.

So, really, this should be fun!

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Read All Excerpts 

of 

Diary of An American Girl’s Journeys to the Forbidden Land.”

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Blaque Book

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21 thoughts on “Diary of an American Girl’s Journeys to the Forbidden Land (Excerpt 3)

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  10. Well if you have done as much research as you claim, then you realize that what is happening with the Occupy movement would not be permitted in Cuba. What Martin Luther King did in the US would not have been allowed in Cuba. Research about the Women in White – then tell us what you found…you sound much more like a petulant child then a true jounalist – are you going to Cuba to research and
    learn objectively what it is all about or are you going because you have been told you can’t go?

    • Well Celina, there may have been more than a twinge of petulance alive within me at the time this diary entry was written. 😉 Which I think is the problem here – you seem to be under the impression that these Cuba journal entries are current. They are not. I kept this particular journal in 2005 before, and during my first trip to Cuba. In these entries, I’m not in Cuba yet. I’m writing about how I imagined it to be, never having been there. I was not a journalist, nor were my trips to Cuba for research. The only research involved was personal; I always dig into the history, arts, and politics of a country before I visit. But these initial trips to Cuba were only travel for me to see and learn about the world – just me and my petulant inner child. 🙂

      Regarding your other points, I think even those who have not been to Cuba realize the limited freedoms which exist there; our media makes sure of that. And I happen to have met a few of the Women in White during more recent trips there. They are brave, amazing women who give hope to Cubans across the island. We should all be as positively inspiring!

    • Freedom is relative in any country. Even in U.S , and insulting sylver blaque it’s pointless unless you can do a better job writting a blog. Have a nice day

      • Thank you, Kenny, for this comment. 🙂 But Celina is really a nice person. As you know, Cuba is a hot-button topic for many Cubans, and emotions run high about it. Though Celina was initially upset about this post, she later shared a wonderful story about her connection to Cuba & offered to help me in my research for this book. I am really appreciative to have both you & Celina sharing your views here about Cuba! 🙂

        • I understand. Anyways if you feel like you want to know a little bit more about Cuba just let me know. 🙂 And if you want to visit it again in the future I have some friends there that could help you in your research. thank you.

          To Celina: sorry for my previous comment obviously I don’t know your story but I lived in Cuba for more than 20 years wich gave me a pretty good idea of all the wrong things there but if you are going to say the bad things why not to mention the good ones as well. This is just my opinion and I am not part of any political group neither I’m interested in politics.

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  15. If this issue got you this upset then you don’t want to know half the things I know that go on around here. There’s no reason for the Cuban embargo to remain in place but they leave it anyway. Why? Pride? Maybe. But I think it’s much more likely because of something the government doesn’t want people to know about. Maybe the communists found something super secret of ours when they took over. Who knows?

    • Oh yeah, I was reeling during research prep for my first trip there. But that was a few years ago. I know much more now, and it’s so funny re-reading my journals from these trips…looking back at how naive I was.

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